Many countries and human rights agencies have slammed the Dominican Republic's crackdown on Haitian migrants, but it said that it “profusely rejects” the criticism.

Deportations of Haitians and border enforcement have been ramped up by Dominican authorities, reported the Associated Press. They said that such actions are crucial to national security.

Authorities said that between July and October, they deported 43,900 migrants, mostly Haitians. Deportation figures shot up by about 50% in September and October.

In recent weeks, Haiti, the U.N. human rights chief and the U.S. heavily criticized the government’s actions. The U.S. Embassy in the capital of Santo Domingo sent out a warning on Saturday. It said that Dominican migration authorities “have carried out widespread operations” to detain largely Haitian migrants who they believe are in the country illegally. The Embassy wrote that there are reports that detainees are held in overcrowded detention centers.

They don't have the ability to "challenge their detention and are without access to food or toilets, sometimes for days, before being released or deported to Haiti." The government’s actions could pose a problem for African Americans and darker-skinned Americans traveling in the Dominican Republic, warned the Embassy.

Lashing back at the criticism on Sunday, the Dominican Ministry of Foreign Relations said that the American government had “no evidence” of any sort of systematic human rights violations.

Tensions that are fueled by migration have simmered for years between Haiti and the Dominican Republic, but they have deepened since the assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse in 2021. It thrust an already crisis-stricken Haiti into chaos.

Last week, Luis Abinader, President of the Dominican Republic, called the U.N. human rights chief’s recent demand for the end of the deportations “unacceptable and irresponsible," reported ABC News.

Meanwhile, CNN reported that hundreds of children have been expelled from the Dominican Republic without their parents, according to UNICEF. A spokesperson said on Monday that the United Nations Children’s Agency has got at least 1,800 unaccompanied children who were delivered by Dominican immigration authorities into Haiti since the beginning of 2022. The spokesperson also said that many minors arrive without identity documents. It raises the question of how Dominican authorities ascertained that they belonged in Haiti.

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